Interview with KJ Sanchez: Directing Feel-Good Theatre at a University
KJ Sanchez is the guest director of Enchanted April, the debut performance of the UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies.
We recently asked KJ some questions about the play and the UM students she’s directing.
Originally a novel, Enchanted April has been adapted for stage and film. How has it been able to work in all three formats?
KJ Sanchez: The most important thing about the book, the movie and the play is that all three work so well because at its core, it’s a beautiful story. It’s really feel-good theatre.
Talk about the story.
KJS: It’s about a group of unexpected friends who take an unexpected vacation in a villa in Italy.
It takes place right after the First World War, and each woman has her own losses to mourn and wounds to heal.
What happens at this villa is truly magical — they find strength they never thought they had, they find freedoms they never imagined they’d have, and they find love they thought they’d lost.
…At its core, it’s a beautiful story. It’s really feel-good theatre.
What message does it communicate?
KJS: It’s one of transformation, healing, hope and growth — things that we all look for, need in our own lives.
In the end, this story that gives us so much hope is told with charm and just enough magic to delight our senses.
What’s it been like working with UM students?
KJS: So far, I’ve had a fantastic time working with these students.
They’re energetic, enthusiastic, with a healthy sense of joie de vivre — not something I’ve found at every school, believe you me.
We're going to have a great time with Enchanted April and I think it will show in the production.
[UM Students are] energetic, enthusiastic, with a healthy sense of joie de vivre…
Join us October 8–16, 2010 for Enchanted April, the performance KJ is guest directing for UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.